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Population of the 20 Largest U.S. Cities, 1900–2012

The table below lists the largest 20 cities in the United States based on population for select years between 1900 to 2012.

  1900 1920 1940
Rank Place Population Place Population Place Population
1. New York, N.Y. 3,437,202 New York, N.Y. 5,620,048 New York, N.Y. 7,454,995
2. Chicago, Ill. 1,698,575 Chicago, Ill. 2,701,705 Chicago, Ill. 3,396,808
3. Philadelphia, Pa. 1,293,697 Philadelphia, Pa. 1,823,779 Philadelphia, Pa. 1,931,334
4. St. Louis, Mo. 575,238 Detroit, Mich. 993,078 Detroit, Mich. 1,623,452
5. Boston, Mass. 560,892 Cleveland, Ohio 796,841 Los Angeles, Calif. 1,504,277
6. Baltimore, Md. 508,957 St. Louis, Mo. 772,897 Cleveland, Ohio 878,336
7. Cleveland, Ohio 381,768 Boston, Mass. 748,060 Baltimore, Md. 859,100
8. Buffalo, N.Y. 352,387 Baltimore, Md. 733,826 St. Louis, Mo. 816,048
9. San Francisco, Calif. 342,782 Pittsburgh, Pa. 588,343 Boston, Mass. 770,816
10. Cincinnati, Ohio 325,902 Los Angeles, Calif. 576,673 Pittsburgh, Pa. 671,659
11. Pittsburgh, Pa. 321,616 Buffalo, N.Y. 506,775 Washington, DC 663,091
12. New Orleans, La. 287,104 San Francisco, Calif. 506,676 San Francisco, Calif. 634,536
13. Detroit, Mich. 285,704 Milwaukee, Wis. 457,147 Milwaukee, Wis. 587,472
14. Milwaukee, Wis. 285,315 Washington, DC 437,571 Buffalo, N.Y. 575,901
15. Washington, DC 278,718 Newark, N.J. 414,524 New Orleans, La. 494,537
16. Newark, N.J. 246,070 Cincinnati, Ohio 401,247 Minneapolis, Minn. 492,370
17. Jersey City, N.J. 206,433 New Orleans, La. 387,219 Cincinnati, Ohio 455,610
18. Louisville, Ky. 204,731 Minneapolis, Minn. 380,582 Newark, N.J. 429,760
19. Minneapolis, Minn. 202,718 Kansas City, Mo. 324,410 Kansas City, Mo. 399,178
20. Providence, R.I. 175,597 Seattle, Wash. 315,312 Indianapolis, Ind. 386,972
  1960 1980 20051
Rank Place Population Place Population Place Population
1. New York, N.Y. 7,781,984 New York, N.Y. 7,071,639 New York, N.Y. 8,143,197
2. Chicago, Ill. 3,550,404 Chicago, Ill. 3,005,072 Los Angeles, Calif. 3,844,829
3. Los Angeles, Calif. 2,479,015 Los Angeles, Calif. 2,966,850 Chicago, Ill. 2,842,518
4. Philadelphia, Pa. 2,002,512 Philadelphia, Pa. 1,688,210 Houston, Tex. 2,016,582
5. Detroit, Mich. 1,670,144 Houston, Tex, 1,595,138 Philadelphia, Pa. 1,463,281
6. Baltimore, Md. 939,024 Detroit, Mich. 1,203,339 Phoenix, Ariz. 1,461,575
7. Houston, Tex. 938,219 Dallas, Tex. 904,078 San Antonio, Tex. 1,256,509
8. Cleveland, Ohio 876,050 San Diego, Calif. 875,538 San Diego, Calif. 1,255,540
9. Washington, DC 763,956 Phoenix, Ariz. 789,704 Dallas, Tex. 1,213,825
10. St. Louis, Mo. 750,026 Baltimore, Md. 786,775 San Jose, Calif. 912,332
11. Milwaukee, Wis. 741,324 San Antonio, Tex. 785,880 Detroit, Mich. 886,671
12. San Francisco, Calif. 740,316 Indianapolis, Ind. 700,807 Indianapolis, Ind. 784,118
13. Boston, Mass. 697,197 San Francisco, Calif. 678,974 Jacksonville, Fla. 782,623
14. Dallas, Tex. 679,684 Memphis, Tenn. 646,356 San Francisco, Calif. 739,426
15. New Orleans, La. 627,525 Washington, DC 638,333 Columbus, Ohio 730,657
16. Pittsburgh, Pa. 604,332 Milwaukee, Wis. 636,212 Austin, Tex. 690,252
17. San Antonio, Tex. 587,718 San Jose, Calif. 629,442 Memphis, Tenn. 672,277
18. San Diego, Calif. 573,224 Cleveland, Ohio 573,822 Baltimore, Md. 635,815
19. Seattle, Wash. 557,087 Columbus, Ohio 564,871 Fort Worth, Tex. 624,067
20. Buffalo, N.Y. 532,759 Boston, Mass. 562,994 Charlotte, N.C. 610,949
  2010   2012  
Rank Place Population Place Population
1. New York, N.Y. 8,175,133 New York, N.Y. 8,336,697
2. Los Angeles, Calif. 3,792,621 Los Angeles, Calif. 3,857,799
3. Chicago, Ill. 2,695,598 Chicago, Ill. 2,714,856
4. Houston, Tex. 2,099,451 Houston, Tex. 2,160,821
5. Philadelphia, Pa. 1,526,006 Philadelphia, Pa. 1,547,607
6. Phoenix, Ariz. 1,445,632 Phoenix, Ariz. 1,488,750
7. San Antonio, Tex. 1,327,407 San Antonio, Tex. 1,382,951
8. San Diego, Calif. 1,307,402 San Diego, Calif. 1,338,348
9. Dallas, Tex. 1,197,816 Dallas, Tex. 1,241,162
10. San Jose , Calif. 945,942 San Jose , Calif. 982,765
11. Jacksonville , Fla. 821,784 Austin , Tex. 842,592
12. Indianapolis , Ind. 820,445 Jacksonville , Fla. 836,507
13. San Francisco , Calif. 805,235 Indianapolis , Ind. 834,852
14. Austin , Tex. 790,390 San Francisco , Calif. 825,863
15. Columbus , Ohio 787,033 Columbus , Ohio 809,798
16. Fort Worth , Tex. 741,206 Fort Worth , Tex. 777,992
17. Charlotte , N.C. 731,424 Charlotte , N.C. 775,202
18. Detroit , Mich. 713,777 Detroit , Mich. 701,475
19. El Paso , Tex. 649,121 El Paso , Tex. 672,538
20. Memphis , Tenn. 646,889 Memphis , Tenn. 655,155
1. Populations for 1900–1980, 2010 are Census figures. 2005 figures are population estimates.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau. For 2000 Census figures, see Top 50 Cities in the U.S. by Population and Rank.

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